What Is A Consultative Sales Process?

consultative sales process

The function of the salesperson has changed, developed, and varied over time. Whereas salesmen in previous generations may have sold things out of luggage in their vehicle trunks, today’s salesman has access to a multitude of ways and resources that make sales more sophisticated, all thanks to a powerful age of technical and communication breakthroughs.

Despite this, the term “sales” has a bad reputation. The name “salesman” invokes up thoughts of badly dresses charlatans tricking others into spending hard-earned money on products they don’t need to solve issues they don’t have, depending on whom you ask. The finest salesman, on the other hand, understands a simple tenet of long-term business: every company should exist to satisfy the demands of its customers.

Because commerce is based on necessity and address issues, the finest salesman sell only what they honestly believe will answer their customer’s problems and needs. Salespeople can be looked at as advocates in this way. The best salespeople represent their customers by anticipating and addressing their requirements. The consultative sales process takes this approach to business, starting with questions and always coming from a place of service. 

What is consultative selling?

In the form of data collecting and analysis, the internet has delivered an enormously powerful instrument. Companies could now access the entire globe with their good or service, and you can use SEO and analytics software to facilitate a lead’s interaction with your company’s site, giving you valuable information into where your prospect finds the most value in your offerings. As a result, the consultative sales process is both proactive and reactive. 

Consultative sales process principles

Following that, the consultative sales process follows six principles. The core consultative sales process is the idea that salesman or representative cares about their customer or lead rather than making money. However, this is a simple notion in the realm of selling, in which the conventional pitch is the rule and profitability drives most, if not all, business decisions; it is groundbreaking.

  1. Research 

To best satisfy your client’s demands, you will need to conduct an extensive study into their business and sector. At this point along the way, the more knowledge you have, the finer it would be. Begin by asking some of the following questions about your lead’s industry:

  • What is the revenue model of my lead?
  • Who are their rivals?
  • What is their industry’s growth rate?
  • What challenges are similar businesses attempting to solve?

The research phase’s purpose is for your salesmen to be seen as a resource for your salesman to be seen as a resource for your prospects. You can achieve it by breaching the paradigm of tracking down simple transactions and rapid conversions and rather being a repository of information and understanding. 

Start an account map as soon as you start this step of the sales process to help you comprehend the company’s geography. Account maps may help you keep organized by adding important people and writing notes in the perspective of the connections you’re building as you understand a little about the company.

Even if you have done your homework, don’t think you know everything there is to know about your consumer or lead. Your research is only a warm-up for the next part of the consultative sales process.

2. Ask 

Now that you have done the research and better understand your potential customer, you can start asking questions to learn more about their goals, requirements, and issues. Therefore, in order to establish trust, it is critical not to make any assumptions about the prospect’s responses. Use open-ended questions to encourage your client to provide data of themselves and their firm.

3. Listen

Listen not only for answers but also for feelings. Pay attention to tone, inflection, hesitations, and rapid reactions in particular. These are all indicators of what your lead values most. Above all, listen actively rather than passively. This way, you are not just waiting to answer with your regular soundbites but actively listening to what they have to say and shifting the conversation to make it more interesting. 

Allowing your prospect to lead the conversation is not a good idea. Determine how you will carry the conversation to the next step in the process by listening strategically. 

4. Teach

Obviously, you are attempting to close the deal. However, the best salesperson is also a problem solver. If you educate clients on how to build a plan of operation to handle their difficulties, you will become an instructor and a business rescuer. When it comes to signing on the dotted line, presenting solutions will increase trust in your connection and promote a sense of loyalty. When explaining your solution and demonstrating Return on Investment, consider utilizing present vs. possible future state graphs to illustrate how your good or service might enhance the candidate’s processes and methods. 

Don’t show all of your cards. Consider the advice and counsel you provide in relation to the information you still need from your consumer.

5. Qualify

Try this: perhaps you have had fruitful discussions with your lead up to this point. However, your prospect divulged at some point that they have no budget. Alternatively, their business may be planning a strategy shift that will make your product or service outdated. To put it another way, you have learned that the lead is not suitable. Indeed, the consultative sales process is all about creating relationships. It is, however, also about generating money. Move on once you have determined that a lead is not qualified. 

Don’t constantly offer anything just because you have put in a lot of effort in the past. Indeed the trust you have built will aid you in closing a contract if and when they become a competent client in the future. 

6. Close

If you have done your job, heard, explained, and determined that this is a good lead, completing the deal should be quite straightforward at this point. Your clients have formed a bond with you, have the financial means to make a decision, and are motivated to solve their problems quickly and effectively. 

If you are still up against it, don’t give up too soon, and don’t dismiss your efforts. Instead, inquire as to how your customer or stakeholder intends to achieve their business objectives without your assistance. Maintain a posture of service to them and look at everything from the same long-term perspective.

A Summary of the Consultative Sales Process

To master consultative selling, you must spend time learning about the buyer’s specific requirements and goals. This is accomplished via thorough research, attentive listening without hard-selling, and the development of a genuine, customized connection. In the consultative sales process, employing tools to do prospect research and leveraging automation where possible will be highly beneficial, but your largest difficulty will be maintaining a real seller-buyer connection. 

Always keep in mind that the goal of the pitch is to make your prospect happy, not to increase your profit margin. Provide your lead with a customized solution and assist them in visualizing themselves as a hero in their workplace. Your prospect’s choice to engage in your firm will be a no-brainer if you concentrate on their feelings and stress areas.

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